Trump's Cuts To AIDS Programs May Condemn 1 Million People To Death

The astounding cruelty of Trump's budget doesn't just decimates the safety net in the U.S. — it has global reach.

The White House unveiled its proposed $4.3 trillion budget that would deprive millions of Americans of health care, food stamps, student loans and disability benefits.

Not only will the cuts affect Americans, but people worldwide will also be affected by President Donald Trump and his administration’s funding cut proposals.

The United States currently spends more than $6 billion annually on anti-AIDS activities. The programs buy antiretroviral drugs for about 11.5 million people worldwide who are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. However, now Trump and his administration have proposed funding cuts to global public health programs.

According to researchers and advocates, if the proposed cuts are enacted, at least 1 million people will die in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere. The proposed cuts will slash those programs by at least $1.1 billion. The foreign funding from the U.S. means that people who test positive for HIV immediately get treated for it.

“These are lifesaving interventions, and these levels of reductions will significantly curtail service delivery,” said Jen Kates, a vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

However, if the funding is slashed, it would mean that the continent, which was moving to reduce numbers of HIV infected people, likely will again be slammed by rising HIV rates with no immediate treatment available.

The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) was established in 2004 by former President George W. Bush, and a majority of U.S. funding for AIDS treatment and research is channeled through it. Former President Barack Obama expanded the funding, combined with the Global Fund and other international efforts.

However, the Trump administration plans to ensure that the U.S. is “focusing our efforts in the 12 high-burden countries to achieve epidemic control.”

Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters 

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